jwashburn

Richard Branson’s space-tourism company, Virgin Galactic, is preparing to go public and will be the first public space company, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. (SPAC) is planning on investing $800 million for a 49% stake in the company. Virgin Galactic expects the influx of cash to keep the business running until they can commercially operate and turn a profit.

Virgin Galactic is competing with other business powerhouses like Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Branson said the goal is “to make sure we can enable as many people in the world as possible to become astronauts.”

Virgin Galactic has been at the forefront of the movement to commercialize space travel, but they hit a major setback in 2014 after a crash killed one pilot and injured another.

“There’s nothing as exciting as this next-generation space race,” said Mr. Palihapitiya, CEO at SPAC. “It’s attracting the most talented and respected entrepreneurs of our generation.”

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